+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

lady-like sweetness, and offered the young
man her hand, thus, as well as by his instalment
in their own apartment, showing that
she knew him to be a gentleman, though
a digger in costume.

"You have done well, I think, sir," she
said, while motioning him to be seated at
the table, on which stood not only tea
apparatus but substantial dishes of meat and
pies, "to stay here, for the mountains are
becoming almost too winterly for tent lodging."

George said he certainly was much better
off here on many accounts.

"Do you know," said her father, who was
busily helping their guest to some smoking
beef-steak, "that I fear you will find yourself
too late at Omeo for this season. The
winter rains are certainly coming, and there
will be too much water to allow you to

"I shall then only have my usual luck,"
said George.

"You have not been lucky?" asked his

"Not as diggers call luck," the young man

"But as gentlemen find it, I suppose,"
said the lady, brightly smiling. George

"But how must I call you, my young
friend?" continued the father, "for one is
awkward without names."

"My name is Widdrington."

"George Widdrington?" added the young
lady, fixing a blushing and earnest, yet
brightly smiling gaze at him.

"How!" exclaimed George. "You know
my name!" He sat fixed with amazement.

"Oh!" continued the lady, rising suddenly,
and seizing his hand, "it is a name
very familiar to us." And, at the same time,
he found his other hand seized by the old
gentleman, who, with his eye lighting with
emotion, exclaimed," Welcome Mr. Widdrington,
welcomeright welcometo Mount

"But may I ask," said George, more and
more overpowered with wonder, "by what
means you knew me, and who they are by
whom I am thus so kindly accosted."

"Tracy is our name," said the young

"Tracy! If I were in New Zealand the
mystery would be clear; but here—"

"Here you see the very same Tracys,"
said the lady, still holding George's hand,
and with features teaming with pleasure.

"Then you are the cousin of Ellen
Mowbray," said George, more and more
astonished, "and there goes another mystery,
your strong likeness to her."

"Am I like her, think you? But, my
dear father, was I not right when I said
that was very like George Widdrington who
sate by the road '"

"Again, you amaze me," said George.

"You never saw me before; then how could
you know me?"

"Do you think I had no reason to recognise
you?" added she, taking down a
miniature which hung amongst others on the
wall, and presenting it to him. It was one
which he had, shortly before leaving England,
given to Ellen Mowbray, and saying, "I see,"
he sate down in a state of strangely mingled

"But this will be joyful news for your
friends: we must lose no time in sending it

"Have my friends inquired after me?"
demanded George.

"Have they inquired?" exclaimed Miss
Tracy. "What! have you never seen
advertisement after advertisement in the
Melbourne papers, making all possible inquiries
after you? Don't you know that not a word has
reached England respecting you since you
left it?"

"I can't believe it," said George; "for no
news, except one slight fragment of intelligence
through a stranger, has ever reached
me. As for the papers, I never had

"That is still more strange," said Miss
Tracy, "for not a month passed without
letters having been written to you."

"Of which," replied George, "I never
received one."

"Then we have much to tell you," said
Miss Tracy, first whispering a word in her
father's ear; and then followed a long revelation
of events and messages which gave
George the most profound satisfaction. His
own parents and brother were all perfectly
well, Miss Mowbray was the same; and the
very facts of her having sent over his
portrait to her cousin, and set her to make every
possible inquiry after him were unmistakable
evidences that her feelings towards him
were in no degree changed. The whole was
to him like a sudden opening in heaven. A
deadly weight was thrown from his bosom.
The hovering shade cleared wonderfully
from his brow. As by a strange enchantment,
he found himself at once in the
house of affectionate friends, and in
communication with his own nearest and
dearest connections. The vast circle of the
globe seemed suddenly reduced to compassable
dimensions, over which the voices of
those he loved could at length reach him.

After Mr. Tracy had retired for the night,
he sate with Miss Tracy, and soon found
that she was perfectly acquainted with his
history. She left him in no doubt as to the
warm and unshaken attachment of her cousin
to him, and of the zealous and continued
exertions she had made to trace him out,
both for the satisfaction of his anxious family
and her own. She produced and read him
many extracts from Ellen's letters, and
George went to bed that night and dreamt
dreams of youth and happiness renewed. In